I love my mum.
But I admit it: when I was young, something about her drove me crazy when I went out for shopping with her.
Let me give you some context – and I promise it’ll relate to how to create a content marketing roadmap.
A few years ago, I used to go with my mum to buy new clothes. I was a student then. Sounds fair, right?
The thing is, when she said, “I’m going to the shopping center. Do you want to come with me and buy some new clothes?”
What I understood was: “I’m going from point A (home) to point B (shopping center) so you can buy new trainers.”
But nothing is that simple in my mum’s head.
This is what actually happened.
We leave home, but on our way to the shop she would mentioned that she needed to go through the pharmacy to pick up an order. Okay, cool. That’s one little stop.
But on our way to the pharmacy, she’d meet a friend – and that was easy to do, because she talks with everyone – and I mean everyone – and discover that fruit was on sale at the grocery store next to the pharmacy.
So guess what?
Yes, we’d stop at the grocery store, but not before my mother spent 20 minutes chatting with that friend in the middle of the street. After that, we go to the pharmacy.
Finally, if I was lucky, we’d make it to the shopping center – of course, while carrying medicines and a bag of heavy but cheap, delicious fruit.
I wanted to go from point A to B, remember? But my mum brought me from A to D, then stopped for a while at E, then passed through C and finally to B.
As you might imagine, when we finally arrived at the shop, I had zero interest in shopping.
And this is exactly what will happen with your audience if you don’t set up clear goals and a clear direction to deliver what they want.
They will get bored and lost.
Marketing Roadmap: The art of guiding your audience from A to Z and not losing them along the way
I wasn’t interested in the pharmacy or fruit, but my mum took me there before we finally reached my goal, the shopping center.
Delivering content to your audience works exactly the same way. You first need to figure out what they want and where they want to be.
Then will need to design a route to take them to their destination.
Don’t create content randomly, talking about one topic today and another tomorrow. Your audience will get lost on the way and will forget why they are following you.
I want to show you how you can you this.
Defining Purpose and Direction
The main reason why your audience will follow you and consume your content is because they expect to get something from you.
They might want to lose weight, so they are following the exercises you recommend and expect to see results at some point. If you start talking about subjects that don’t drive them toward that result, they’ll look elsewhere.
Even if you talk about fitness stuff in general.
You need to organize your content in a way that enables your audience to find a natural route to reach their goals.
Before designing your marketing roadmap, you need to know exactly what those goals are.
So the first step is: know what your audience wants.
This point in itself is a whole chapter in your content strategy process, and is related to every aspect of your content marketing. So you need to dig into your audience’s brains to know everything about them.
There are a few things that you can do to understand your audience better and figure out their goals, pains, dreams, frustrations and so on.
You can send surveys. This is still one of the best methods for getting in touch with a large audience, and you can automate the process.
There are a few online surveys you can use, and all of them have a free plan if you want to test them:
- Google Forms (free)
- Typeform (free plan)
- SurveyMonkey (free plan)
You can actually use actually anything that works to put you in direct contact with your audience: phone calls, Skype, free consultations, helping at events, direct messages through social media, talking with existing clients.
As I said, that process could consume a whole chapter. I want you to focus on the important stuff here – this is defining the purpose of your content.
Putting order in the clutter
You will need to create and ship a large amount of content, and your content will be out there, all mixed in with the other content on the internet. That’s a complete mess.
For someone who wants achieve a specific goal, this can be so confusing. It’s what they call “intoxication”.
I’m not a big fan of the term, but I guess we can call it information overload. This is how the Cambridge Dictionary defines info overload it: “a situation in which you receive too much information at one time and cannot think about it in a clear way.”
a situation in which you receive too much information at one time and cannot think about it in a clear way
Excess information is as bad as a lack of information, especially if there’s no structure or order that helps you apply the information.
So that’s your job!
In an intoxicated world, you are the superhero who creates order from chaos and displays the most essential and important information, in the right order.
You need to take your audience by the hand to where they want to be
The way to do this is simple. Break down your content strategy into blocks. Each block represents a milestone on their way to the finish line.
Remember, you’re directing them toward a certain goal.
If you deliver too much information at once, it will be overwhelming – and when you’re overwhelmed, you rarely take action, right?
So your “content blocks” will look like something achievable.
For example, if the final outcome for your audience is to do public speaking, focus on how to beat anxiety and control your nerves before talking to a group of people.
One block could be the psychology of public speaking: how to get mentally prepared before stepping on stage. We can call this the public-speaking mindset.
Another common barrier to public speaking is figuring out how to connect and engage with your audience.
Here we might establish another block on Storytelling. That could be defined as the art of telling a story in a way that is easy for people to follow.
So far, you have 2 blocks: Mindset and Storytelling. And those are 2 different milestones your audience must pass before they can succeed when talking to an audience on stage.
Now you have a structure and a strategic plan to deliver your content. You’re not just spitting out any topic that comes to your mind.
In summary, any big topic can be broken into different subtopics, and each of them can represent both an outcome and skill in itself.
As final point: you can use the resulting block structure for your case to organize your editorial calendar. That makes it easier for the content creator, as well.
Creating content for each block allows you to be more specific and focus on creating even more accurate content.
In other words, you can create non-overwhelming, actionable content for your audience.
The benefits your audience because:
- they can join each section (block) according their level and interest, and
- they will have a clear structure to follow and won’t get lost.
Every person needs a different route
Remember the story I told you at the beginning of this post? I promised that it related to the subject.
I would have chosen a different route than my mum on our way to the shopping center. But to be honest, both routes were correct, because both of them ended up at the shopping center.
The difference is that each path satisfied our needs in a different way.
Your audience is no different than that. Maybe they want to do public speaking, but they want to follow different routes to do it.
What I am trying to tell you here is that you can explain the same subject from different angles and perspectives and using different techniques, approaches and priorities.
Some people appreciate quick advice; others want long, detailed advice because it makes them feel more secure.
You need to be aware of all those preferences and articulate your content marketing roadmap in a way that traces a different path for each of them.